Smart Cities

Legislation is needed for smart cities, say 90% of US companies

Smart infrastructure, e-government, and smart mobility are top technology priorities for governments, according to a study from ABI Research.

In an endorsement for smart cities, more than 50% of government agencies reported that public technology adoption should be stimulated, managed, and aggregated at the local or city level, according to a report from ABI Research, released Wednesday.

The B2B technology report, which surveyed 455 US-based companies across nine verticals, found that 90% of respondents said legislation for smart cities was a necessity, along with public safety technologies (62%) and communication networks (50%).

"Respondents from state level agencies strongly believe public technology deployments should be managed at the state level," said Dominique Bonte, managing director and vice president at ABI Research, in a press release. "While there seems to be strong agreement for smart city deployments at both a local and federal government level, tension between the state and federal level can be gleaned from the survey. For example, we readily observe this friction within autonomous vehicle and emissions legislation efforts in the U.S."

Smart infrastructure and e-government were cited as top technology priorities in the B2B space, followed by smart mobility, smart grid, and smart transportation. However, lack of funding and/or lack of skills were the top two adoption barriers, noted by 52% of respondents. Lack of awareness and unclear ROI were also cited as challenges, the report found.

SEE: Smart cities: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)

Local and federal governments' role in funding public technology deployments was viewed by respondents as limited, and often occurring through seed funding or funding coordination, ABI Research noted. But 40% of respondents said public-private partnerships would be useful in developing feasibility studies, offering joint funding, and designing and deploying pilot tests.

Telecommunications companies can also play an important role as "ecosystem enablers," government respondents said, bringing vendors and partners together around services offered to governments, rather than only providing connectivity services themselves.

Smart city initiatives continue to build momentum across the US and the world, as TechRepublic's Teena Maddox reported. A recent report from the National League of Cities recommended partnering with universities, nonprofits, and the private sector to develop smart city initiatives, and gain access to funding and expertise. The report also recommended looking to best practices and frameworks for smart city development, as well as considering the outcomes you want to achieve before getting started.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

1. More than 50% of government agencies reported that public technology adoption should be stimulated, managed, and aggregated at the local or city level, according to a new report from ABI Research.

2. Some 90% of US company respondents said legislation for smart cities was a necessity, along with public safety technologies and communication networks.

3. As smart cities continue to develop worldwide, governments should consider partnerships with universities, nonprofits, and private sector companies to gain funding and expertise.

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Image: iStockphoto/cofotoisme

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About Alison DeNisco

Alison DeNisco is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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